Friday, December 29, 2006

Delayed. Look Busy.

I'm swamped at my paying gig but come January 2nd, I'll be full tilt boogie into the 'top ten' and the 'year in review.' If you can handle it, please consider donating (it's the donate button, funny that) for this festive season and help me on my way to doing this full time --I get closer each year.

If you're desperate for conversation, say something inflammatory about a well loved movie in the comments or head on over to Cinemarati where a heated discussion is in swing re: Dreamgirls --join in.


Craig Hickman said...

Thanks for pointing me towards that debate, Nate.

Funny thing is, the last comment I made over there went as follows:

Dreamgirls is receiving the kind of divisive love/hate criticism that appeared to push Crash (I hated that trash) out of contention for Best Picture last year.

And the rest is history.

While I'm not saying history will repeat itself, I wouldn't be shocked if it does.

In a way, Crash, with its cast full of people of color, may have paved the way for a film like Dreamgirls to win Best Picture.

adam k. said...

But how many people really love Dreamgirls?

Plus, not everyone is in it. And the ones who are are not necessarily actors, but rather singers and music people. I think the Crash win was more fueled by the inundation of screeners and everybody either being in it or knowing people in it. And possibly by some subtle homophobia, but that of course is a different debate.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see Dreamgirls shut out of screenplay and director at the oscars, thus crippling it. I think it might really be Clint vs. Marty part deux. And in that race, I'd back Marty. And his film.

Craig Hickman said...

Have you seen it yet?

Throngs of people love Dreamgirls. There have been wild applause and standing ovations in theaters across the country. Will that translate to votes by AMPAS? Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

And everybody wasn't in Shakespeare in Love and that was the surprise winner over the heavier, bloodier Saving Private Ryan.

Hollywood can go soft when you least expect it.

I think it's too simplistic to reduce the race to Marty v. Clint at this point. Nobody is in Clint's films, and Marty's film is, well, been there done that (and much better).

Besides, both of their films are heavy, bloody.

You get my drift.

adam k. said...

No, I haven't seen it, I'm just going by reviews and the awards it's won or not won so far.

The main reason I doubt it's chances to win the oscar is that even the globes weren't crazy for it. People are entertained by it, yes, but do they think it's best pic worthy? It was expected to dominate the globes but Foxx and even Condon (twice) were snubbed. When the globes even give things like Evita (mostly ignored by AMPAS) director noms and awards domination because they're big splashy, relatively good musicals, you have to wonder why they gave Dreamgirls basically the same nom treatment as Phantom and The Producers. Plus there's the hype vs. reality aspect to consider. Nobody likes a disappointment.

If Dreamgirls still cleans up at the globes and then ends up with a director nod and the most nominations (very possible), then it may very well win. But if Condon is snubbed and it has, say, 9 noms to Departed's 8, or whatever, then I think it's over.

I think The Departed is actually the film to beat at this point. It was a pleasant surprise to everyone when it arrived (as opposed to hugely hyped and then regarded as just "okay"), and it's looking like the leader for director and screenplay. And the critics have gone wild for it in their awards. And it seems likely EVERYONE loves or at least likes it.

But I may eat my words when I see Dreamgirls. We'll see.

Craig Hickman said...

For every lukewarm or bad review, there are at least two great ones. At least that's what rottentomatoes has revealed to me.

Still, because of the divisive reactions to it, Dreamgirls is the prime example of a film that could go against previous awards trends, even in Hollywood.

Sure the Globes have increased in significance over the years and is a worthy precursor to the Event, but HFPA ain't AMPAS.

And I don't know who expected HFPA to go gaga over Dreamgirls, a film that wasn't released when their nominations were due. Of course they attend advance screenings, but they don't have nationwide audience reactions to guage before making their decisions. I'm sure bigger awards experts than I could tell me the last time a movie that doesn't even go into its widest released until January 19 took the Globes by storm.

I saw Dreamgirls in rural New Hampsire. The predominantly white, straight audience laughed, clapped wildly twice during the film, sobbed in unison, and applauded at the film's end and again when "and introducing Jennifer Hudson" finally came up in the credits.

An ensemble of beautiful Black people entertaining the nation in song and dance is a beloved American tradition.

Make no mistake, lots of people love Dreamgirls.

And for many of us, it exceeded our expectations.

The images are amazing.

I think it's a bit too early to predict Hollywood's judgment.

Glenn Dunks said...

Dreamgirls and The Departed have audience favour, too.

And, also, musicals haven't been big in CRITICS precursors very often. Chicago wasn't and neither was Moulin Rouge! I believe. But it's coming up to the guild prizes where Dreamgirls is gonna be a constant.

...but, really I have no idea.

Poli said...

I feel like posting something inflammatory, so here we go. Just as a warning, I do actually feel this way, but am only saying it to see how people react.

I think the most overrated movies of all time are Citizen Kane and The Godfather, Pt. 2

Anonymous said...

I still hope that "United 93" is going to make it to the shortlist with only two noms: best pic and best director. And isn't "Pan's Labyrinth" much stronger than "Volver"?
I'll have to make up my own awards because I'm not satisfied with either Oscar predictions or pathetic /no offence/ insipid pink Marie-Antoinette cake topping the BiTCH awards list and holding hands with a mediocre Almodovar's effort "Volver", which is really not much beyond its brilliant leading performance /well, I'd give it B+, but "Pan's Labyrinth" has got A-/ and "The Fountain" /I should probably watch it again because I found it extremely weird watching it after a night of vomitting - well, there must've been something bad at the Christmas table/.

Anonymous said...

I just mean I can't believe that with all my favourites since "Moulin Rouge!" in 2001 till "Brokeback Mountain" last year the same as Nathaniel's, this one could be so different. Well, where the hell is "United 93"? Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaase, watch it again!

Yaseen Ali said...

Anon - How can you call Volver "mediocre" when you give it a B+?

Craig Hickman said...


I agree about Citizen Kane but not the other.

Brian Darr said...

You asked for an effect, Polyvamp.

Citizen Kane's reputation is such that it's impossible for it not to be "overrated" (an overrated word, in my book). There is a threshold of acclaim that, once passed, is pretty much mathematically impossible to live up to. Citizen Kane's general critical reputation is that it is the greatest film ever made, simulataneously the summation of all cinematic techniques that came before it and the genesis of approaches to cinema that were 20 years, 40 years, 60 years ahead of their time. All you have to do is doubt one piece of this construction (hmmm...maybe it's only the second-greatest film?) and by definition the film becomes "overrated".

Which is to say, calling something like Kane (or the Godfather or the Seven Samurai or the Passion of Joan of Arc or the Lord of the Rings movies) overrated is like saying nothing, unless you explain specific things about the film that failed to live up to your expectations.

adam k. said...

I hate to keep ragging on Dreamgirls when I haven't seen it yet (and expect to like it when I do), but I'm just saying, if you look at how all the musical best picture oscar winners (and even nominees) did at the globes, you'll see that they did very very well. Particularly the recent ones. Director nominations are standard. Leading the nominations is standard. I'm just saying, so far Dreamgirls has been slightly disappointing in reviews and nominations. Even Nathaniel, the movie musical's biggest fan, doesn't love it.

And as for the last time a late december/january film rocked the globes: Chicago. 'Nuff said. Being a last-second release has rarely been a problem.

Craig Hickman said...

Well, I'm a huge fan of movie musicals, Adam (I couldn't even pick a favorite, the list is way too long), and I absolutely adored it.

Sure, I could find something to criticize, but I'd be nitpicking.

It all worked for me.

And yes, it might be good to see it for yourself and draw your own conclusions so that your ragging is founded less in The Standard History of the Awards and other people's opinions.

But thanks for the clarity on the Globes history of Chicago, a film that pales in comparison to Dreamgirls in everything that makes a movie musical a movie musical.

Glenn Dunks said...

Citizen Kane is way overrated in my books, but The Godfather Part II is not. Not at all. Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons is better, by the by.

Adam, considering the three musics of recent years that Nathaniel has loved (Moulin, Dancer and Hedwig) only one got a BP nod and then lost. Yet Chicago was also a B movie for him (I believe) yet it went on to win the Oscar. Nat's opinion is, sadly, not the Academy's. Or the HFPAs. Or the LAFCA. Or whoever is even remotely "influential" or "relevant".

Condon would've made it if Eastwood wasn't hopping two Globe spots.

Glenn Dunks said...

Obviously that should be "hogging"


wait, i'm not relevant ?

yes Glenn has a point. If i love something, I'm like a bad luck charm for its Oscar hopes. primo evidence: pfeiffer for 20 some years now.

Poli said...

The whole point of my statement was to be inflammatory for the sake of it.

I think Citizen Kane is an extremely well made movie, with some very good acting in it, but I always get so terribly bored about 30 minutes in.

The Godfather, Part 2 just seems to go on for too long. I like it, but feel it could have been cut shorter about 45 minutes and still be wonderful.

Glenn Dunks said...

Clearly you're wrong poli.


Poli said...

Maybe, but I stand by it :)

adam k. said...

There is also of course the case of Brokeback. Maybe it lost because Nat loved it?

I think Nat liked Chicago at least a little more than Dreamgirls, though... it was hovering around near his top ten list, anyway, and 2002 was a good year.

It's mostly the globe snub that worries me... and the expectations factor and how it's been the presumed frontrunner for too long. And I think the Condon snub could repeat at the oscars... Scorsese, Eastwood, Frears, Greengrass, Inarritu, and Condon are all trying to get in. Someone will have to be crunched out. And that's not even considering Eastwood for Flags and potential surprises like Cuaron and Del Toro.

And if Condon is crunched out, Dreamgirls is not winning.


driving miss daisy

Glenn Dunks said...

Considering they seem to think musicals direct themselves anyway...

We'll see what the Director's Guild has to say first as they seem a bit more reliable than the Globes.

Dreamgirls is definitely on-the-edge, but what else is there? I can't see them giving The Departed best picture and Iwo Jima is very small and very foreign language. American or not.

Craig Hickman said...

Yes, Driving Miss Daisy won best picture without having its director nominated.